I've decided that I want to be Oprah when I grow up. Or Lady Gaga.
I have a very bad habit of sometimes turning my nose up at things that suddenly seem too trendy, as if I'm above joining a herd of mindless peoplesheep of the cliff of fashion and music, which is fairly stupid considering the facts that I will scream at you if you bother me while I watch America's Next Top Model and that I need music the way I need air. So when Lady Gaga hit the scene and the whole world went apeshit, I rolled my eyes and changed to a new station before I could hear her growl about bad romances and pokerfaces. I'd catch sight of her wackyass ensembles and wonder what the hell the big deal was without ever stopping long enough to find out.
Last weekend I sat down to watch HBO's premiere of Gaga's Monster Ball Tour, intending to only watch the first ten or so minutes, just long enough to self-righteously slap myself on the back for proving, once again, that I am sooo not a follower. But within the first five minutes, I found myself transfixed by the sight of her crying, her emotions just as bare as her naked, pre-Maybellined face. She was backstage preparing for the show — the sold-out crowd at Madison Square Gardens already beginning to scream for her — and she unexpectedly erupted into tears when someone asked how she felt about that night's upcoming performance. I expected some Miss-America-just-got-crowned type of crap, but what came out was anything but. She explained that sometimes she still feels like the loser, off-beat girl in high school, the one who no one understood and whose personality was so oddly shaped that it didn't fit into any typical niche, thereby making her the brunt of relentless teasing. Now that she's who she is, she fears that she'll be a disappointment, that she'll let everyone down for not being good enough. In blistering vulnerability, she explained about how she still feels like she's fighting against years of trying to prove that she's bigger than people's misunderstanding.
So there I found myself, feeling like an ass for being one of Them, and I watched the entire concert. I latched onto every lyric, was dazzled by the dance and the screaming and the story, and reflected the entire time on how if she, whose greatness and relevance is validated every day by record-breaking and fans and awards, can still somehow find moments of feeling less and unworthy of who she is, then I cannot feel wrong for sometimes feeling judged and unworthy and unproven. We all have our moments, whether short or long in duration, where we feel lost, broken, destroyed, or sometimes all three at once. "…I have to pick my shit up and tell myself I'm a rock star…," she said.
Now here I sit, writing this post while listening to my new Gaga playlist on blast. Because dammit, I'm a rock star, too.
*Oprah-fy yourself (and tell me if you do)